Lincoln Memorial University

From West Africa to Appalachia: A Student’s Journey to Become a Nurse Anesthetist

Franklin Elimbi

HARROGATE, Tennessee, Jan. 22, 2019 – Lincoln Memorial University-Caylor School of Nursing (LMU-CSON) is joining the nearly 53,000 certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) around the nation to celebrate the 20th annual National CRNA Week taking place Jan. 20-26, 2019.


Franklin Elimbi, RN, BSN, CCRN enrolled in LMU-CSON’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program with a concentration in nurse anesthesia in fall 2017. Elimbi’s interest in the field of nursing began as a child watching his older sister become a nurse in Cameroon, West Africa.


“She was my childhood role model and made me see the joy in caring for people during the most vulnerable times in their lives,” said Elimbi.


His interest in nurse anesthesia came after a bad surgical experience, during which he thought he was inadequately anesthetized and recalled hearing conversations in the operating room.


Since that experience Elimbi said, “The whole idea of being able to put someone to sleep and waking them up intrigued me.”


Before attending LMU, Elimbi earned a Bachelor of Science in nursing and a Bachelor of Science in biology from Radford University in Virginia. Prior to attending LMU’s nurse anesthesia program, Elimbi held multiple acute care nursing jobs, and spent the last three years working in the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia.


Elimbi says what he loves about LMU’s nurse anesthesia program is that the professors are very knowledgeable and are current active anesthesia providers themselves.


“The professors set high standards for students,” said Elimbi. “Yet, they work with you every step of the way.”


He chose LMU for its multiple clinical sites in Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and Georgia that expose students to a wide variety of practice settings, as well as the program’s board exam pass rates.


“LMU’s board exam pass rates are above national average,” said Elimbi. “The recent class that graduated in 2018 had a 100 percent pass rate on their boards.”


Elimbi hopes to practice nurse anesthesia in a rural setting in the future and is exploring ways in which he can travel the world and be able to practice overseas.


When asked what advice he would give to potential nurse anesthesia students, Elimbi said, “It helps to shadow a CRNA to help understand what CRNAs do, before jumping in.”


He also suggests that nurses continue to take classes while working so they will be prepared when they make the decision to go back to school to advance their career.


“The longer you stay out of academia, the more difficult it is to get going from day one of CRNA school,” said Elimbi. “Like most graduate programs, CRNA school is challenging and very stressful. Find out what best helps you relieve stress and make time for that activity while at school.”


LMU’s MSN Nurse Anesthesia (NA) concentration is accepting applications through March 1, 2019. If you have questions regarding entrance into the MSN Program, please contact 423.869.6210 or 1.800.325.0900, ext. 6210.


Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423.869.6280 or email at [email protected]




For more information about the role and value of CRNAs, visit the AANA’s website at and the “CRNAs: The Future of Anesthesia Care Today” campaign website at


About the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists

Founded in 1931 and located in Park Ridge, Illinois, and Washington, D.C., the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) is the professional organization representing nearly 53,000 Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) and student registered nurse anesthetists across the United States. As advanced practice registered nurses and anesthesia specialists, CRNAs administer more than 45 million anesthetics to patients in the United States each year and are the primary providers of anesthesia care in rural America. In some states, CRNAs are the sole anesthesia professionals in nearly 100 percent of rural hospitals. For more information, visit and


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6965 Cumberland Gap Parkway
Harrogate, TN 37752